- Middle school students with conduct disorder were more than 3 times as likely, and those with depression were nearly 3 times more likely, to participate in the choking game (CG) as those with no symptoms.
Why this matters
- CG involves self-strangulation or strangulation by another person to achieve a brief euphoric state from cerebral hypoxia, caused by restricted oxygen flow to the brain.
- These findings add to the growing body of literature suggesting CG may be used as a coping mechanism for depression in adolescents.
- Study of merged data from 2 cross-sectional studies realized in 2009 (n=746) and 2013 (n=1025) among French middle school students.
- Funding: No external funding.
- The lifetime prevalence of CG participation was 9.7% with no differences between boys and girls (P=.701).
- At the time of the study, 17.9% of students practiced ≥1 risky sport and 26.3% displayed current high-risk vehicle use.
- Significant predictors of CG participation were:
- Highest depressive symptoms (OR, 2.79; P<.001>
- Highest conduct disorder symptoms (OR, 3.37; P<.001>
- Cross-sectional study design.
- Small sample size.
Coauthored with Antara Ghosh, PhD